State practice of the law of the sea: reflections on the legal culture community in the South China Sea region

HONG Nong1,2

(1.Institute for China-American Studies)
(2.Research Center for Oceans Law and Policy, National Institute for South China Sea Studies, Haikou 571100)

【Abstract】The trend of historical development shows that the competition in the future world is mainly cultural competition, which will focus largely on the competition of legal culture, namely, the competition and conflict of legal cultures with different origin and different nature, including the choice of dispute settlement mechanism, government standard and legal value scale. Since the Philippines initiated the South China Sea arbitration proceedings against China in January 2013, the situation in the South China Sea region has experienced ups and downs until the arbitration results were released on July 12, 2016. Recently, the dispute over the South China Sea has calmed down, which is inseparable from the joint efforts of China and ASEAN. However, this has also triggered a deeper reflection on the legal culture of East Asia, especially the culture regarding the law of the sea. From the perspectives of attitude towards international law, degree of participation in the negotiation of the law of the sea, domestic maritime legislation and dispute settlement practice, the South China Sea countries have displayed a certain degree of commonalities. However, the instability of regional security caused by the South China Sea arbitration case brings people to realize the lack of an identifiable legal culture community in the South China Sea region. In order to prevent damage to the integrity and authority of the international law of the sea, offset and mitigate the negative impact of the South China Sea arbitration case on the international rule of law, it is necessary to build an identifiable legal culture community in the South China Sea region, which shall take the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea as its solid cornerstone.

【Keywords】 international law; law of the sea; South China Sea dispute; South China Sea arbitration case; legal culture community; Code of Conduct in the South China Sea;

【DOI】

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    Footnote

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This Article

ISSN:1003-3386

CN: 11-5370/D

Vol 34, No. 05, Pages 79-112

September 2017

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Article Outline

Abstract

  • 1 Attitudes towards the international law
  • 2 Each country’s participation in the negotiation process of the UNCLOS
  • 3 Maritime legislation
  • 4 Dispute settlement practice
  • 5 Absence of a legal culture community in the South China Sea region
  • 6 Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC) can serve as the cornerstone of the legal culture community in the South China Sea
  • Conclusion
  • Footnote